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Top Reasons to Book a Cruise Early



I recently came back from a cruise to the Caribbean, where I got to see Freeport (in the Bahamas) and the mega-resort Atlantis in Nassau. I had a great time in both ports I visited; the weather was fantastic, the beaches had fine sand and beautiful Caribbean blue water, and there was fabulous shopping everywhere I went.



I am a “planner”, and I will usually plan trips months in advance. In this case, the opportunity came up with only two weeks’ notice. A little out of my element, I asked fellow cruisers when they booked, and the answers varied quite a lot. Some responded they booked as far in advance as two years, and some as quick as the week prior. It made me wonder… are there benefits to booking a cruise early rather than the week before? To answer that question, I asked Jody Z, cruise buyer here at Costco Travel.

    Image of a tourist in front of a cruise ship.

    Newest Itineraries

    “Many cruise lines announce itineraries 18 months or more in advance. Cruise lines typically come out with their best fares when itineraries first go on sale and then raise the rates as the ship sells out.”

      Newest Itineraries

      “Many cruise lines announce itineraries 18 months or more in advance. Cruise lines typically come out with their best fares when itineraries first go on sale and then raise the rates as the ship sells out.”

        Image of a tourist in front of a cruise ship.

        Better Stateroom Availability

        “Booking your cruise early also gets you your pick of staterooms, especially if you are wanting to book connecting rooms or if you are traveling with other families.”

          Maximum Flexibility

          “Most cruise lines only require a deposit to hold your stateroom, which is often times refundable until you are paid in full.”

            Popular Cruises

            “Holidays and also when kids are out of school are very sought after dates to cruise. By booking in advance you have a better chance of securing the ship and sail dates that are more popular and sell out quicker.”

            The cruise buying team has a lot of experience, and Marci T. also offers some insights.

              Image of a table and chairs at port looking at a cruise ship.

              Secure Your Desired Dining Time

              “Once a dining time is full you have to go with what is left. It can be as late as 8:30 p.m. or you might even be waitlisted. This can be a deal-breaker for a lot of people, and we always encourage to book early to secure first dining! The other thing is special diets: some cruise lines need advanced warning for accommodating special dietary needs like gluten-free or Passover meals."

                Price Drops

                ”Lastly, price drops prior to final payment can (most of the time) be done which means you don’t need to wait until the last minute in fear you will pay too much.”

                In addition, booking early allows you more time to plan your dream cruise vacation. Once the itinerary is booked you can start planning dining, land excursions and outings. If you are traveling as a group, you can plan onboard activities as well. Always be flexible; once you get onboard you might find a little bar or hotspot onboard the ship where you spend more time than you planned.

                Click here to see what cruises Costco Travel has to offer.

                  Happy Cruising!

                    I am a “planner”, and I will usually plan trips months in advance. In this case, the opportunity came up with only two weeks’ notice. A little out of my element, I asked fellow cruisers when they booked, and the answers varied quite a lot. Some responded they booked as far in advance as two years, and some as quick as the week prior. It made me wonder… are there benefits to booking a cruise early rather than the week before? To answer that question, I asked Jody Z, cruise buyer here at Costco Travel.

                      Image of a tourist in front of a cruise ship.

                      Newest Itineraries

                      “Many cruise lines announce itineraries 18 months or more in advance. Cruise lines typically come out with their best fares when itineraries first go on sale and then raise the rates as the ship sells out.”

                        Newest Itineraries

                        “Many cruise lines announce itineraries 18 months or more in advance. Cruise lines typically come out with their best fares when itineraries first go on sale and then raise the rates as the ship sells out.”

                          Image of a tourist in front of a cruise ship.

                          Better Stateroom Availability

                          “Booking your cruise early also gets you your pick of staterooms, especially if you are wanting to book connecting rooms or if you are traveling with other families.”

                            Maximum Flexibility

                            “Most cruise lines only require a deposit to hold your stateroom, which is often times refundable until you are paid in full.”

                              Popular Cruises

                              “Holidays and also when kids are out of school are very sought after dates to cruise. By booking in advance you have a better chance of securing the ship and sail dates that are more popular and sell out quicker.”

                              The cruise buying team has a lot of experience, and Marci T. also offers some insights.

                                Image of a table and chairs at port looking at a cruise ship.

                                Secure Your Desired Dining Time

                                “Once a dining time is full you have to go with what is left. It can be as late as 8:30 p.m. or you might even be waitlisted. This can be a deal-breaker for a lot of people, and we always encourage to book early to secure first dining! The other thing is special diets: some cruise lines need advanced warning for accommodating special dietary needs like gluten-free or Passover meals."

                                  Price Drops

                                  ”Lastly, price drops prior to final payment can (most of the time) be done which means you don’t need to wait until the last minute in fear you will pay too much.”

                                  In addition, booking early allows you more time to plan your dream cruise vacation. Once the itinerary is booked you can start planning dining, land excursions and outings. If you are traveling as a group, you can plan onboard activities as well. Always be flexible; once you get onboard you might find a little bar or hotspot onboard the ship where you spend more time than you planned.

                                  Click here to see what cruises Costco Travel has to offer.

                                    Happy Cruising!


                                      About the Authors: The above piece was written by Penny Anderson, Merchandising/Ecommerce Manager at Costco Travel, with help from cruise experts and enthusiasts Jody Z, Cruise Buyer and Marci T, Cruise Buying Team at Costco Travel. Penny has been a Costco employee for 23 years, 14 of these years at Costco Travel. Jody has been at Costco Travel for over 19 years. Marci is celebrating her 5th year here and her favorite cruise destination is Grand Turk, Turks and Caico Islands.


                                       
                                       
                                       
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